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Ross Video purchases FX-Motion

8 February 2012
Ross Video purchases FX-Motion

Ross Video has acquired Belgian camera robotics company FX-Motion, makers of the Furio system, following a booth meeting between David Ross (pictured) and FX-Motion CEO Stijn Vanorbeek at IBC2011 in Amsterdam, writes Fergal Ringrose. Ross Video Executive Vice President Jeff Moore told TVBEurope “the company was not for sale, they were not shopping around, and we were not looking for an acquisition! But this is a very advanced system, Stijn Vanorbeek is super passionate about the technology, and Dave and Stijn hit it off basically and realised they could work together. “We had never thought about getting into robotic systems,” continued Moore. “But if a great fit comes along, with people who are passionate, we’ll do it. We already had a relationship with FX-Motion on the development side, relating to our OverDrive production control – and in fact have a joint customer site at KCET Los Angeles.” “This [acquistion] gives us an expanded presence in Europe, with a dozen people in Brussels – and next month we’ll double the size of the plant there. It really helps us in the European market, at a time when the BBC is putting us into W1 – that deployment is happening right now,” revealed Moore.  “This puts us to the edge of the stage,” he said, “with a fully robotic dolly-based system [delivering] smooth repeatable motion in a live production. You’ve seen those dramatic camera shots on shows like The Eurovision Song Contest and So You Think You Can Dance. It applies also to newsrooms, where you can add motion and signature camera moves to newscasts, all repeatable. “Plus the possibility of augmented reality shows, thanks to an absolute real-time measuring system,” said Moore. “The information can be used by graphics systems to dynamically position graphics in 3D space for augmented reality and virtual sets – because the camera is so precise.” Following the acquistion FX-Motion is now Ross Robotics, adding a new product line into Ross’ Video production technology portfolio. The FX-Motion Furio system is used to control cameras and provide compelling visuals on productions. Furio is available in two variants – Furio Robo (full robotics) and Furio RC (remote control). Furio’s absolute positioning system and rail-based tracking sets it apart from competition and makes it ideally suited to virtual set and augmented reality applications.
 Furio Robo is designed for live television production studio use in which typically a single operator controls multiple cameras with pre-set shot and motion path recalls. The system consists of a Pan-Tilt-Zoom Head (PTZ), rail-based dolly system with elevator and a sophisticated IP based control system. The system scales from a simple PTZ head on a fixed tripod to a full multi-camera rail system. “We are super excited about adding robotics to our product portfolio,” said David Ross, CEO Ross Video. “There is a very close link between the OverDrive automated production control system, production switchers, XPression graphics and now our Furio Robotic Camera Systems.” “I and the rest of the FX-Motion team are very happy to be joining Ross Video and adding Robotics to a combined live production product portfolio. There is a great fit both from a technology and corporate culture point of view,” commented Stijn Vanorbeek, CEO of FX-Motion and now President of Ross Robotics.

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